Bullwhip Consultant on Films

After the Enquire article, one of the natural questions resulting was about how do you consult for films with whips?

Unfortunately, these days there are fewer films using whips as a part of the story line than there was in the early days of cinema. That of course is directly attributable to the decline of the western in modern film and television. But occasionally, a storyline comes forth that requires them, and a decision will be made on how to go about it from the studio. Recently, Whiplash from Iron Man 2 was produced which featured whips of a sort. But their approach was to use film of how a whip moves to create the effects in CGI.

But CGI works great in some cases, but not so great in others, and whip work is something that is more dramatic in real life. And such is a recent call I received from Peter Facinelli who I met at the Indie Gathering Film Festival while I was doing some firewhip work.

This is from the actual stunt demonstration where Peter and the director Rob Gunnerson were a part of.

They approached me about a project they were doing with RealD 3D where they wanted to capture the firewhips with RealD’s new 3D camera system in HD. So I flew out to LA to help them bring that project to life, called for now tentatively, The Delivery.

Peter of course is currently busy with the Twilight franchise, so further development of The Delivery is ongoing.

Here is the trailer that we shot, which consisted of a series of test shots to test the camera equipment. I served as the whip consultant and handler in all whip action. I am particularly proud of the shot we got where I cracked the cigarette backwards using one of my 12 foot bullwhips. The director wanted to do it for real, not in CGI, and we pulled it off with just a few takes.

View the Trailer at the links:
The Delivery 3D Trailer
The Delivery 3D | MySpace Video

More info and production stills can be found at this link.


Here are some images from the shoot:  Here Rob Gunnerson sets me up for the stand in work for Peter who is in the background. 

Here is Mat Wilig, who played the demon, standing with me.  We had the awkward issue of sharing a trailer on set since they were short one and we both had extensive makeup to do.  The very first thing I said to him was something negative about playing for the Panthers because I’m a Tampa Bay fan.  But after that, we got along well.   Matthew is recently retired from the NFL after 14 seasons. He played for 6 teams (New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers). He went to 2 Super Bowls while winning 1 and losing the other. He is steadily rising up the Acting ladder and receiving acclaim as his roles get bigger and better.

Here is Rob and Peter going through the shots with me so we can measure distance for all the equipment. 

Here are the Producers, the face paint really got on my nerves after 12 hours.

Peter and I on break. 

Test shot of how the 3D camera’s were capturing the fireball given off by the firewhip.

Rich Hoffman


15 thoughts on “Bullwhip Consultant on Films

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